Update: 08/15/15: The Sons of Confederate Veterans, which says it seeks to celebrate Southern heritage, filed for a temporary restraining order Friday but has not yet received a decision from a judge. However, university spokesman Gary Susswein said the school agreed to wait until a court can review the challenge, all the while expressing confidence that the Davis statue will ultimately be relocated to a museum.
No sane American today would condone that part of our history that supported slavery. Unfortunately, it is the dark history that is now eclipsing the overall amazing accomplishments from America’s past that made America the great nation it is today.
Erasing the past can only be done by this generation and by future generations who fight for equal rights for everyone, but tell that to the perennially outraged.
Taking people out of their time and placing modern day values on them is a useless and meaningless pursuit.
UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves, selected a 12-person panel of students, alumni, and administrators to put together a report this past June. The purpose was to decide what to do with three Confederate statues vandalized during a nationwide #BlackLivesMatter rampage. Fenves commissioned the report the same day the statues were vandalized.
The statues have been repeatedly vandalized since.
No one seems to care to find the vandals who keep breaking the law by defacing the statues. There are actually seven in all.
One recommendation, and it’s a serious one, is to remove all seven statues in the mall including the statue of Progressive Woodrow Wilson, who was gleeful over the confederacy losing, because the person who commissioned the statues was a Confederate veteran, George Washington Littlefield, whose purpose was to revive the Southern history during a period of Southern nostalgia.
One of the criticism’s against the Socialist Wilson was that he allowed the viewing of The Birth of a Nation in the White House. If that becomes the rod by which all are measured, we might as well erase our entire history and pretend none of it happened. Abe Lincoln liked to tell racist jokes and he would certainly have to go.
Apparently now, if the creator or the benefactor is someone they disapprove of, the statues have to go, even if one is a Progressive.
Sculptor Pompeo Coppini said the intent of the statues was to show the coming together of two “nations” as soldiers departed for WW I.
However, opponents say it was a celebration of Southern nationalism united under the principles of ‘white supremacy’.
‘White supremacy’ are new buzzwords that no longer simply stand for actual ‘white supremacists’ like the Aryan Nation, but rather, all white people can be called ‘white supremacists’ because they have so-called ‘white privilege.’
Littlefield (photo below) of course is long dead and can’t be channeled but no one has called for the endowment he left to be abandoned.
He was integral to the success of the university as were other Confederates.
One has to wonder if Joseph Stalin’s approach to erasing history wasn’t much better. He just erased it, but we’re a democracy and when we erase history, we send around petitions after Soros-funded groups like #BlackLivesMatter or their sympathizers demand it by vandalizing them.
Stalin, the big daddy of censorship, erased film, altered images, and banned the mention of the names of men from history to whom he objected.
They’re beautiful statues and no one would have cared about what they might have represented so long ago if people weren’t looking for offenses as part of the PC culture we now live in. They won’t consider any redeeming features these historical figures might have had.
The statue most in contention is that of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, who had served as Secretary of War of the United States. He also introduced camels to Texas which obviously didn’t work out.
Robert E. Lee must also go though he was president of George Washington College after the war. He didn’t fight to preserve slavery. As a native Virginian, he fought for what he believed was his country and he did it with heavy heart. As a West Point graduate, he was much reviled by his many famous colleagues who saw him as a traitor.
Lee freed his own slaves five years after inheriting them and was opposed to slavery.
Still, Lee must go.
Another statue that must go is that of John Reagan who no one knows much about. He was a postmaster general of the Confederate States and renounced slavery and secession.
There is also a statue of George Washington which came much later in 1955. Washington was a slave holder whose will ordered his slaves be freed after the death of his wife. No one is yet demanding he be removed but wait on that.
Littlefield, born in Mississippi, became a successful Texas cattleman after serving as a Confederate major in the war (see photo below). After years of struggles and successes, he eventually served as president of the American National Bank and grew in wealth. In due time, he was appointed regent of the University of Texas at Austin.
In the first fifty years of the university’s existence, he gave and bequeathed more than $3 million, more than anyone else. His generosity to UT was truly legendary.
He added books of the South to the school texts because he said he wanted a balance in history’s retelling but focused the university on Southern history. He put his money towards that aim.
He reserved a dorm for women and bequeathed his house to the university.
Democrat Littlefield admired Woodrow Wilson and put his statue next to Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Albert Sidney Johnston, and John Reagan.
The panel who reviewed the fate of the statues said they were commissioned at the same time as the rise of the KKK.
Littlefield had nothing to do with the KKK. Progressives, interestingly, have no problem with men who were in the KKK like Senator Robert Byrd and Al Gore’s father. Barack Obama even gave a moving eulogy upon Bryd’s death.
Byrd was a Grand Wizard and once wrote, “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.” The Progressives have rewritten this history and the historical fact that the KKK was a Democratic movement. They like to pretend the parties changed and the racists were actually Republicans.
His rival was George Washington Brackenridge, a Unionist, whose brother owned slaves. Breckenridge wanted UT to abandon its Southern connections and the battle has continued to this day, seeing a resurgence in the 60s and in later years including 2004, and now this year.
The money Littlefield bequeathed is the foundation of UT’s holdings and it now includes a notably large collection of African-American history. His money also paid for the famous Wrenn Collection of 1918, two years before he died. It was later the basis for their world-renowned Humanities Research Center.
On a very positive note, over the years, a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. was added to the East Mall and one of Barbara Jordan will soon be included.
Gary Bledsoe, the president of the NAACP’s Texas branch, along with many blacks, believes that any symbolism insinuates the “Old South was right and slavery was okay”. One can easily sympathize with these views but they are not at all true today except in the precincts of the insane and the evil.
Avrel Seale, the editor of the Alcalde, a Texas alumni magazine, proposed removing the statues from campus this past spring and placing them in the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. He’d keep the Littlefield fountain which is dedicated to Confederates and the statue of George Washington.
At the time, Seale argued for replacements like Stephen F. Austin who had nothing to do with UT and who supported slavery. Other recommendations included Governor Oran Roberts who taught at the university but he played a major role in leading Texas out of the Union.
It’s hard to erase history.
Seale had a great suggestion in Heman Sweatt, the first African American admitted to the law school.
The suggestions now go from adding explanatory plaques, which is unlikely to happen, to being moved to a less visible location to putting the statues in the American History museum.
No one is recommending the Littlefield endowment go to the museum, but if all things were fair, it would, along with the many collections Littlefield’s money acquired for the university.
H/T Daily Caller, Wiki, and Texas Monthly